This year I finally had a chance to attend WWDC (Apple Worldwide Developers Conference). It has always been my dream to go there and see the Keynote, conference and all other events with my own eyes.
First thing what comes into my mind about this event is waiting. You need to line up for getting the badge, food and sessions. For everything, really.
The biggest wait is for the Monday morning Keynote presentation, of course. Some people started to wait for it on the previous evening, but usually people arrive at 5AM in the morning. I arrived at 7:30AM and got a decent seat in 12th row. I was sitting right next to some other folks who arrived an hour earlier than me. I guess I was lucky.
While you’re waiting go and talk to others! For me it is quite hard to start a conversation with strangers, but most of the attendees are there to socialize and meet other people.
Everyone who has attended WWDC is telling that you need to go to labs. Sessions are recored and you can watch them afterwards, but talking with Apple employees is something you can only get during this event. I would suggest to make appointments to labs as early as you can. Not only will you have more questions to prep, appointment times also fill up pretty quickly.
Preparation is the key when you want to get most out of the labs. Having questions, test project and showing actual code with your app helps a lot. And even Apple folks are humans. Sometimes they don’t have answers to everything but can at least steer you in the right direction.
While you are waiting in the line for appointment or next free Apple engineer, talk with others around you. You can learn, exchange opinions or even get answers while you’re still in the queue.
We all know that developers are bad at socializing, but most of them are willing to talk about common subjects and share their experience. Be the person who starts the conversation. Either it is during the lunch, waiting for the appointment in labs or in a party. I went there alone and didn’t have a company, so I had nothing to loose.
Try to connect with people who you meet in Twitter, LinkedIn or email. You can never underestimate all the connections that can come handy at some point or you can learn from each other's work or experience.
During this week you can meet a lot of well known people from the community because most of them are there in San Jose. I had chance to meet many of them. During try! Swift I met Chris Lattner who is the creator of the Swift language. This event was one of the highlight's of the week because I made my first contribution to the Swift language which will be included in upcoming Xcode version.
A lot of things are happening during WWDC week and it is easy to be overwhelmed. Besides WWDC itself there are many events like Altconf and try! Swift. Every evening multiple meetups, parties and other events are happening.
Everyone is so much excited and hyped about the new technologies, APIs and products, but what happens afterwards? Once you go back home to regular jobs, projects and apps it is hard to implement these new things right away. You can't and shouldn't rewrite existing working products. It just does not make any sense.
I think WWDC is a great conference and we need to look about all these new things in long term rather jumping and using it all from day zero.